Living on Lord Howe Island


The walk to Boat Harbour

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Sunday, November 26, 2017

Walking at Boat Harbour on Lord Howe Island

Contributed by Denis Corcoran

Seclusion. Space. Peace and quiet. Getting away from it all.

Seeking the opposite of hustle and bustle? The southern end of the island is just the tonic.

I’m at Rocky Run junction. The map mounted on the post in the ground tells me I’m a long way from my bike at the top of the airport strip.

700m Smoking Tree Ridge
1.1km Boat Harbour
2.4km Lagoon Road

I’ve set out to explore the Southern end of the Island. It’s renowned for being more raw, wild and uncivilised. The kind of place where the isolation is the drawcard. I’m wanting to go deeper and darker into the belly of the Southern tip. I stow my drink bottle away and set sail for Boat Harbour. 

The silence is splintered by the shrill of an inquisitive bird. Perhaps a piercing warning squawk sent out over the airwaves of the animal kingdom that a rare human intruder is entering the vicinity. It certainly feels like I’m alone and being watched. 

Weaving between the Pandanus trees and up and down the patchy track, it’s a pleasant surprise to stumble upon a freshly painted green bridge - a welcome reminder that humans have actually been down this end of the island recently. 

Within a minute of coming off the bridge I’m suddenly standing in the mouth of the harbour. There are no boats, no birds, not even a single sign of life aside from the roar of the ocean. It’s perfect. 

I turn around and look up. Mt Lidgbird towers above like a semi-submerged grey submarine poking out of the swaying green vegetation.

Continuing on over the rocky outcrop of beach, I veer to the left. There are overhanging trees and boulders upon which to moor up, air the feet and eat my lunch.

It’s hard to believe the old sailing boats used to come ashore here and refill their fresh water supplies. It’s such an inhospitable wild part of the island. The tame lagoon seems like a world away. 

Up above me, the wispy white marshmallow clouds zip past the cold grey face of Mt Lidgbird. Around me, the dense green bush encroaches down to the water’s edge. In front of me, the big blue sets roll into the cove, the roar exasperated by the shifting of thousands of rocks up and down the beach every few seconds. 

It’s raw. It’s real. It’s the southern end of the island at it’s best.

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About Dani Rourke

HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 75 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but escaped. My husband and I moved from Sydney to beautiful Lord Howe Island to run Pinetrees Lodge, which has been in my family for 6 generations. I'm writing about family business, island life and the whole work/family disaster. Did someone say balance? When I'm not writing, my lovely staff do it for me - they see more of the island than I do.

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